Intuitively developed art that follows its own internal logic free of other rules.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unloading the Last Reitz Wood Kiln, 20 Jan 2014

These ideas, called minimalist, and abstract expressionist, arising in conversation like Legends of the Unconscious, not yet written exactly, have many sources to do with vacancy and presence, vacancy of the design and designer, presence of the flows of the natural. Making and repeating patterns to identify work as recognizable of a certain brand is a betrayal of vacancy, but a necessity of exhibition and style, at least after the effect. Dropping a stone on glass as Lee Ufan, making by erosion, breakage, eruption, gravity, is vacancy. If firings are apocalypses what are "reconciliations of the good?" No results found. The pine will die in the fire! Lee Ufan, in Mono-ha, the School of Things, says unknowing materials reveal knowledge. Against thought and forethought when stone hits glass the breakage conforms to gravity and glass, not the intention of the artist, if not, the result is mere thought. Only the tension of artist, glass and stone, the freedom of each to act and crack unknowingly reveals qualities inherent in, but not visible as object. Yes this is a little simple. Crack the stone, conceal the stone, railroad ties reveal connotations of forced labor in Japanese colonies in World War II, Ireland's famine stone walls around the Burren are famine walls denoting starvation and slavery. Starkly burning wood makes charcoal. So we might study with creosote and yarrow, mugwort and water or take it further and look in the tortoise mirror. Extremes of Biological Extinction preoccupies such beings.

Laminating Opposites. Mercury

Listening for the spirit of knowing and not knowing as a human mind, as if passage tombs were like wood kilns, even pollution is a good we can all talk about while laminating opposites with volcano, chalk hill, wood kiln, maybe infiltrating cone 5 clay into cone tens with bark and organics, rocks, volcanic ash, erosion deposition, reburying feldspar, shigaraki layering,  cracking, stressing with cedar berries, pine needles, sycamore bark, buckeye pods, chicken bones, fish streams of shino in the underclay where spines are buried, pebbles, manure, vermiculite! beetles! road kill!, chollas, spines, pads, all buried. But who dares it? Hope to hatch out a split scarab stretching geologics. Mercury-like thrust faults and global contraction of the planet, we should say, with lobate scarps from interior cooling. Mercury, as Casanova's pieces, has a larger core than other inner planets. Cumulative compressional strain recorded in the lobate scarps suggests a decrease in Mercury's radius, which the kiln can easily top, at least 10%. So a reduction gas kiln imitates the anagama: Core contractions produced the lobate scarps [scalps] or cliffs of implosion, displacement thrust faults, compressional stresses, thermal contraction, lineated terrain. Preexisting crater rims disrupted into crude polygonal hills and fractures, mantled, blanketed by impact ejecta. Miners, dwarves, nibelungs explode the iron oxide earth clay coat, rutile wash, cobalt hole.

All these global aspects of Mercury lead to a loss of surface that secreting, planting of contradiction into the clay body makes. Slumping, cutting earthquakes seek the volcano in the kiln. The pollution in saying so calls fire out of the medieval Cloud of Unknowing with the spirit. Fathom that after the volcano, like the shell of a man shrunk, heart sack creased like a pot expelled from itself, when you don't have naught to say. Thought burns up. Intellect ceases tasks. You stand struck, parietal lobes rewired.This destruct is art? art. All these firings are apocalypses. Before I left for Clarksdale I read that when the sixth angel sounds it will loose the angels bound in the Euphrates.

 Fire is romanticized. Think the sculptors and the piscine shapes of women know that we go in this fire? Been touched? Once burned? Twice? Why were they in the Euphrates (not the Gihon, Tigris, or Nile)? Why had they been bound, now loosed?! You know why. The 200 million horses breathe fire, smoke and brimstone. They are kilns some critic would say, wrenching scripture as does Kafka's analogy of the Wall of China for the Tower of Babel. China to Babel, horses to kilns, all prophets, Enoch, Noah, David, Isaiah, Jonah, Jesus, John are traditional and iconoclastic. Consider making a whip to cleanse the Temple. Kafka enforces scripture with the best Biblicals. Believe that and read the Great Wall of China and the kiln opening like my nephew asking what the opening of the seventh seal means. I told him that I hate to spoil the ending. I subscribe parageography to geology with the voyages of Odysseus, Virgil, St. Brenden. As Beowulf stands beside the burning mere Of plumb immensity before he’ll go Into the vast abysm without fear, And wonders if that watery bed’s his bier Before he draws a breath of earth’s sweet air, And dives into the darkness of the mere:

Poetry? You say there's a difference between water and earth, air and fire, male and female? More pollution of  intellect?

The wood kiln  is about  blushes girls make when they come out and open their faces. The Unloading makes the color ranges known. In the catacombs Don Reitz is rumored to mix his clays from a WSO base, with a pinch of the secret (oxide). Others are trucking raw clay from the East as Reitz draws From The Heart. Implicit reduction of oxygen or oxidation forced with ash and smoke from chemicals saturated in the clay makes them blush. Iron and copper clay compositions set up blushes with the wood, depending whether pecan, walnut, pine. Some place they fire with cinnamon, persimmon, madrone. Lee Ufan (Japan), Claudi Casanovas (Spain) and Donald Judd (W Tex (Marfa!)), range to and fro over takes of this natural, cuts of stone hills and scrub growth, sun and sky.

 Mining Minimals is a Truth Business:

How can the intellect pollute the natural and its art when it thinks it is mining the heart? All mining produces contamination of surface and subsurface, slag heaps, gob piles, subsidence, runoff increase. Chemicals concentrate in water that the Reitz Ranch is well situated to recall, chemicals concentrated in the Verde River run right by. Consider the Verde river polluted with mine tailings and arsenic runoff just down from here where Cottonwoods fish the river. Maybe they don't drink the water, but abandoned smelter stacks and slag piles wash down leftover mines also in Globe, Bisbee, Jerome and a hundred others. Compare these with the intellectual pollution of the natural in the human. Like it or not, seeking depth, mines are the depth of art mirroring life that cannot take the pristine uprights of Reitz' sculptural  recall, with its crosses and grave artifacts, other than as if they were the River Shannon graveyards of Clonmacnoise. The last thing I remember is Jonathan Cross saying something like, "the fire of the volcano," who insisted that deliberation of ceramic takes of the world were intellectual, after a taking of the natural. The argument was that had they the colors we have they'd certainly used them. So the sea would not remain the wine-dark of Homer. But what is art if not pollution, considering our surroundings, the hills barren, the river poisoned, the sky filled with chemtrails all the sun filled day? Intellect to intellect? I didn't say this. I am listening as if knowing is finding the spirit of knowing and not knowing simultaneously, as in a human mind.The red, black and white clay colors of ancient statuary are like the three classical colors, the only colors, inferred from Arabic.

Kiln opening.

Don't you love art talk? Don Reitz is famous for it. Claudi Casanovas, in Twenty Blocks, says "each piece is a silence. If I were a poet, I would inscribe words there." Here Casanovas too, but such impossibility! The silence is complete. Only his stressing of materials is exciting, The problem all these boys have is why should I buy their pieces when I can go to Winslow and buy petrified wood as big or bigger than I can lift, already stressed? The stressing of materials echoes Mono-ha. The impression these give on the GalerieBesson site is of a depersonalization attractive because the viewer doesn't have to figure out the message, recognize the face, interpret the image. It's a rock its own self collecting, but there were no human figures in the kiln. Donald Judd collaborated with his father, but had extreme distaste for galleries and art biz. Artist as "designer," not "maker" might not obscure that design. Whether preceding the made, made in the making, or found after, in breaking, this is a mere time constraint, for should there be time no longer, to further the Biblical, if then, then now, time is a convenience for those who talk. If no time, then no human maker either, not to deny the work, merely to say nothing, certainly not thank you for saying it is good. What's your problem anyway? He died rich. He was so rich he started a foundation in Marfa. That's where Robert Creeley got sick in order to die in Odessa.

Afterward I got out a pit fired Papago pot from the old trader Kermit Lee acquired when he liquidated. You can see the burn marks and its softness: “Eight miles from the Pisinemo Road is the Quijotoa Trading Post. Quijotoa is a Spanish corruption of KiaHoaToak, Papago for “carrying basket mountain.” The Quijotoa Mountains were mined in 1774 and again with more importance in the 1880s. At the trading post, Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Lee have a wonderful selection of Papago baskets and pottery. Baskets range from thumb-nail miniatures made of horsehair to waste basket size of yucca, beargrass, and martynia…Almost directly across from the Trading Post is a road north to Santa Rosa Village. Just west of it is Ventana Cave; and here lies some of the most ancient history in North America.” Desert Magazine,

2014 and after --"Firing in wood burning kilns gave him new surfaces to explore along with new clay bodies that he discovered while in Japan, clay from Shigaraki. Sandy clay from the bed of Lake Biwa has a warm orange color which characterizes Shigaraki ware [?] of irregular contours and archaic flavor. Firing technique shifted from reduction to oxidation firing, which allows free admission of air during the firing rather than limited air admission into the kiln. This allows iron oxides to be used as part of the coloring process. The allowance of free air is due to the type of ancient kiln, called an anagama kiln, which is used to fire Shigaraki ware...achieves the mineral glaze surface. Depending on the placement of the piece, the resulting coat of ash and minerals will vary with a greyish to a reddish-brown colorizing, small impurities protrude, caused by embedded quartz [feldspar?] partially fired. Covered with a thin layer of overrun yellowish-brown to a peach blossom red color glaze that crackles when fired is also characteristic."

Voulkos "Invented each time as if for the first time then reinvented as part of the history of invention."...geology of art, archeology, layer by layer...primeval geology, gap, crack, smash, sludge, of the crack, the burned crack, the torn edge, plasticity, viscosity, drying, slashed, embedded, incised, scratched, scored, incised wax resist stacks, plates, STACKS! contours, recesses, fit for caves, spelunkers, "destroy itself at the same time it creates," ...original wary attitude toward applied glaze solidified to total avoidance...cylinder, dome, sphere, disk, plate, slab. Leather hard wheel forms joined in various combinations in stacks or ice buckets (?) muscular, irreverent, anti-academic [primitef] (From the introduction of Clay's Tectonic Shift: John Mason ceramic walls].  Mason began to make massive rough-hewn walls... huge cross forms and solid, geometric shape...imprinting the finished form with the gestural force of its making-ceramic walls]. Walls, vertical totems, crosses, reaching for the primitive.

We are going to have to forgive Voulkos for being an influence on so many ceramic artists. That's their fault. Also forgive the force of his personality, here's a good pic. The solitude, rejection, anger, energy, dislocation: “The minute you begin to understand what you’re doing it loses that searching quality.  Your emotions take over and what happens just happens. Usually you don’t know it’s happened until after it’s done. the influence of Franz Kline

Of the influence of Franz Kline: "Bridges, tunnels, buildings, engines, railroads, and other architectural and industrial icons are imagery informing Kline's work; lines, planes, facets, coal, "Kline’s memories of his native Pennsylvania’s coal-mining region, with its stark scenery, locomotives and similar massive mechanical shapes to which the titles of his later abstract images sometimes referred." Reading that Franz Kline's black and white paintings with tunnels and roads stems from his childhood in Wilkes Barre and the coal mines makes me wonder at the influence of that house along the railroad where we lived from 5-16. Especially the early years, starting 1947 the trains smoke was not scrubbed. What was later white was black as soot, especially where the freights had to go up a gentle rise we live in the middle of. There were two tracks, only freight trains, that went to and way from the Pennsylvania Railroad train yard a few miles down. This was a big operation hillsides undermined by coal extraction prevented development.When I look at these rectilineal constructs, crosses etc I see grave stone ceremonials. Much of Voulkos, Callas, Reitz is suited to memorials. De Kooning also enters these associations, who I have long loved, block and slices. I love everything he says about art non art.


Malcolm Davis

Their glazes were basically feldspar with a little ash.

The secret of carbon-trapping is in one ingredient: soda ash. My particular glaze has
about 18% soda ash. Many shinos have no soda ash at all and are glazes used by potters
who do not want carbon-trapping and are searching for a more traditional Japanese sur-
face. I love those pots, but I am obsessed with carbon and soot.
reduction pulls the oxy out of the glaze that was grown in, sulfide to sufate
Note on celadon: a little tin oxide and/or barium carbonate will help with the blue color.

John Mason
The common reduction fired Shino glazes in North America are mostly gloss or semigloss, fat, white crackle glazes with some orange to red and dark red from iron in the clay body or iron slips under the glaze. Shinos were born in Japan as almost pure high fired feldspar glazes. Shino on porcelain requires underglaze iron bearing slips, or in-glaze iron (i.e. from an iron-containing kaolin). Shinos are fluxed with soda spars and nepheline syenite and do not contain calcium because it dissolves the iron and inhibits the red color. Shinos usually do not have added silica, the silica being contributed by the feldspars and the clays in the glaze. Some Shinos contain Spodumene, which may be added to balance the high expansion soda spars. A simple Shino recipe is 70% Nepheline Syenite and 30% Kaolin. Shino

Iron Glazes

After: I have done less of this in clay than I did in glass and words. The world is before us, but the pot remains after. Ask what he will do tomorrow if he had success today-what are you working on, as they do all novelists. The answer is there is no time and what is done is done before, during and after.

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